The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 1880.
In about a month or so New Zealand will harvest as heavy a crop as has everfallen before the edge of the scythe or the knives of the reaper, and knowing that the season’s crop, heavy of itself, and its quantity increased by the greater extent of land under grain this year, requires to be taken to the seaboard, we naturally begin to be anxious about the facilities for transit afforded by the railway. Last year, it will be remembered, though the yield of grain was exceptionally low, the railway rolling stock had enough to do to carry it from the side stations to the ports of shipment. Special trains were run at all sorts of untimely hours in very laudable endeavors to wipe off arrears of grain traffic, and it -was only by such means that the huge piles of grain that were stored at Ashburton and other places were gradually reduced and finally run to the seaports for shipment. This year those piles will be larger, we believe about three times larger, than last year, and a far greater strain will come upon the grain carrying power of the line. To meet this extra strain some 1200 trucks have been added to the rolling stock of the colony s lines since harvest and a fair number of heavy, powerful engines have increased their strength in locomotives, so that some efforts have been made to meet the demands that must he made upon the railway. But with all the increase of stock, we fear, owing to the exceptionally heavy yield, the usual delay that we have been accustomed to experience in getting the grain to the seaports will bo repeated this year, though we hope it will not be so long as in previous years. It is idle to expect that such a number of trucks will be kept on hand by the railway as will be able to accommodate all the grain grown in the colony desired to be exported, without any special effort being put forth in the shape of extra trains, and making the trucks do double duty, and increased despatch. If a stock of trucks, Ac., like that were kept, (hey would be the next thing to idle for nine months in iho year, and that is not desirable. We believe, that with the increased number of trucks and locomotives, and special efforts by the management the delay which is feared by many will not be anything like so great as they imagine. Certain alterations in the time-table, which we refer to elsewhere, seem to point to the railway authorities clearing the line of such passenger trains as can be spared to make room for those the grain season will inevitably demand all to itself.
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